Studies and Reports

The Federal Acquisition Institute promotes and coordinates government wide research and studies to improve the procurement process and the laws, policies, methods, regulations, procedures, and forms relating to acquisition by the executive agencies (41 U.S.C. 45(d)(5)(b)). The studies and reports that follow are organized into several categories:

In addition, there are several other organizations that conduct acquisition research.

Additional information may be found in the policies and legislation that guide FAI's operations.

Workforce Reports

Throughout its 30-year history, FAI has issued annual reports on the demographics of the acquisition workforce. These reports show trends in educational levels, hiring, turnover, and retirement eligibility for certain occupational series. These reports provide federal managers with data of value in planning or evaluating their respective acquisition career management programs.

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Acquisition Workforce Competencies

2007 Contracting Workforce Competencies Survey
In the spring of 2007, FAI conducted a governmentwide survey of the contracting workforce.

Contract Specialist Competencies
In 2003, FAI undertook a project to identify and validate the competencies that Contract Specialists should have and linked these competencies to a career management model. This "Report on Competencies for the Federal Acquisition Workforce" was issued as three documents:

The Contract Specialist Training Blueprints, September 2004
FAI has also developed training blueprints that link contract specialist competencies to learning objectives. This document provides a governmentwide standard for the critical acquisition-related duties and tasks contract specialists perform.

Other competency reports

The Validation of Technical COTR Competencies, September 2008 Executive Summary highlights the validation of the technical competencies and aligned skills identified for Contracting Officer's Technical Representatives (also referred to as Contracting Officer's Representative (COTR)).

The Validation of Technical COTR Competencies, September 2008 Technical Report details the validation of the technical competencies and aligned skills identified for Contracting Officer's Technical Representatives (also referred to as Contracting Officer's Representative (COTR)).

The Report on Competencies for the Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR) Job Function, December 2003 (PDF 390KB) details the 24 general competencies and 13 technical competencies identified for Contracting Officer's Technical Representatives (also referred to as Contracting Officer's Representative (COTR)).

The Report on Competitive Sourcing Competencies, February 2004 (PDF 350KB) lists and defines the professional business and technical competencies associated with each of the six key roles involved in the competitive sourcing process.

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Guides and Manuals

Guidance on Ethics and Procurement Integrity

  • Memo from Paul Denett on Ethics and Procurement Integrity (October 3, 2007) (PDF 567 KB)
  • Brochure on Ethics and Procurement Integrity This brochure was prepared by the Office of Government Ethics and is helpful in identifying ethics issues that can arise in the procurement process. The brochure may be particularly helpful to agency personnel whom may not have extensive acquisition training yet perform acquisition functions such as: source selection authority; member of a source selection evaluation board; contracting officer's representative; or program manager or deputy program manager with oversight authority over specific contracts.

Contract Pricing Reference Guides are a set of five reference volumes that were developed jointly by the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI) and the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT).

The Guides are now maintained by the Office of the Deputy Director of Defense Procurement for Cost, Pricing, and Finance (DP/CPF). The Guides were developed to provide instruction and professional guidance for contracting personnel. They provide detailed discussion and examples applying pricing policies to pricing problems. However, as noted in FAR 15.404-1(a)(7), the Guides are not directive and should be considered informational only.

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Other Studies and Reports

Glossary (PDF 949KB)
The glossary of acquisition terms was created in 1998 by FAI and shows relevant terms with FAR references when applicable.

FAI Working Group Report FAC-P/PM Certification report (PDF, 401KB)
This report presented by FAI in consultation with the Chief Acquisition Officers (CAO) Council, the Chief Information Officers (CIO) Council, the Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Council, the Chief Human Capital Officers Council (CHCO), the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and other government and non-government organizations, reflects recommendations for establishing the Federal Acquisition Certification for Program and Project Managers (FAC-P/PM) Program.

The Future of the Procurement Workforce: Best Practices in Contracting is a 93-minute Web cast in which FAI Director Karen Pica presents lessons learned by both civilian and military contracting professionals.

Report on Contracting Officer Technical Representatives (COTRs) (PDF 984KB) was issued by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) in May 2006.

"Contracting Officer Technical Representatives: Managing the Government's Technical Experts to Achieve Positive Contract Outcomes" provides findings and recommendations based on a survey of COTRs from 10 agencies that spent 90 percent of the Government's contracting dollars. These highly experienced COTRs provide a compelling and authoritative perspective on contracting and on how they can be better managed to ensure positive contract outcomes in terms of the quality, timeliness, completeness, and cost of contract deliverables.

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Other Organizations Conducting Acquisition Research

The organizations below conduct acquisition research:

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